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A Dangerous Method (2011)

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A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Christopher Hampton (screenplay), Christopher Hampton (play) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,471 ( 472)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Sabina Spielrein
Viggo Mortensen ... Sigmund Freud
Michael Fassbender ... Carl Jung
Vincent Cassel ... Otto Gross
Sarah Gadon ... Emma Jung
André Hennicke ... Professor Eugen Bleuler (as André M. Hennicke)
Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey ... Sándor Ferenczi
Mignon Remé Mignon Remé ... Jung's Secretary
Mareike Carrière ... Food Nurse
Franziska Arndt Franziska Arndt ... Bath Nurse
Wladimir Matuchin Wladimir Matuchin ... Nikolai Spielrein
André Dietz ... Medical Policeman
Anna Thalbach Anna Thalbach ... Bathtub Patient
Sarah Marecek Sarah Marecek ... Orchard Nurse
Bjorn Geske Bjorn Geske ... Orderly (as Björn Geske)
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Storyline

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Germany | Canada | Switzerland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Un método peligroso See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,953, 18 November 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,702,083, 29 April 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Keira Knightley, at first she didn't know how to play her character's hysteria. When she read some of Spielrein's notes she noticed the woman described her condition as being like "a demon or a dog". Knightley then started to pull faces and contacted David Cronenberg through Skype to show him the results until they both agreed on one. See more »

Goofs

Sabina's accent is very inconsistent throughout, ranging from noticeably American to pan-European and Russian Émigré. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carl Jung: [to his new patient] Good morning... I'm Dr. Jung. I admitted you yesterday.
Sabina Spielrein: I'm not... I'm not mad, you know.
Carl Jung: Let me explain what I have in mind. I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an hour or two.
Sabina Spielrein: Talk?
Carl Jung: Yes. Just talk. See if we can identify what's troubling you. So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to sit there, behind you. I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at me under any circumstances. Now...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Damsels in Distress (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasie aus Walküre
by Richard Wagner
Performed by Edison-Orchester Berlin
Under the direction of Max Büchner
Edison Goldguss-Walze 15278, Berlin 1905
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Riddled in clichés and boring
19 November 2011 | by Movie GeekSee all my reviews

I can't remember the last time when I have been so much in disagreement with the general critical response for a movie… Everywhere I look I seem to hear and read high praises for Cronenberg's latest work, and yet I am willing to bet that few of those who claimed to like it so much would be ready to watch it again. As far as I am concerned I am struggling to find something positive to say (well, yes, nice costumes…) and the only reason why my vote isn't any lower is because I am willing to admit that I might have not been in the right mood for it. Even in his most flawed films, Cronenberg has always been an interesting director, or at least able to create not only an almost palpable atmosphere, but also a particularly defined style and vision which set him apart from the usual Hollywood crowd. And yet this one seems a film with no direction whatsoever. Not only each sequence felt random and inconsequential as if not necessarily edited in the right order, without any real feeling of natural progression from the previous one into the next, but also it was all so static and lifeless that sometimes I even wondered whether anyone was actually directing at all. At no point I felt any sympathy for any of the character: in fact, not only I did not like any of them, but I didn't even hate them either. I just didn't care. And this is is a rather strange thing to say, because on paper, a film about the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud (and consequently the birth of psychoanalysis) sounded to me very intriguing indeed. Sadly, pretty earlier on into "A dangerous Method" I realised that this wasn't really the type of film I was hoping to see. I found myself uneasy right from the word "go", that is from the moment I saw Keira Knightley overacting like never before and stretching her chin to new unbelievable levels, as if screaming to the audience "I want that Oscar!!". Well, darling, not this time. Then, after the early screams, it all calmed down a bit and the dialogue started… and that's when it got worse! For a film which should rely on words more than action itself (especially given the static nature of it all), I found the script absolutely puerile. It all felt like it was written by a high school kid, who's just heard a few things about Freud and wants to impress his friend with his newly acquired knowledge. I mean, there are actually lines like "You Freud, have always sex in your mind. Why does everything always has to do with sex?"! Really? Mr Hampton, who are you writing this script for? Surely your target audience doesn't need things spell out so boldly and blatantly. It was like reading a checklist of all the possible clichés one could think about psychoanalysis (and Freud in particular). Who is this film for anyway? At times it felt like it was so ridiculously basic, as if it was written for people who have never even heard of Freud and Jung. Other times it was all so riddled with heavy handed quotes and so "up its own self" that it felt like watching some boring lecture given by an even more bored teacher, sitting on your old desk back in school. From such a renowned scriptwriter (he wrote Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement among the other things) I was expecting a lot more: maybe Mr Hampton should watch a few episodes of HBO's classy "In Treatment" to learn a thing of two about the subtlety of bringing psychoanalysis to the screen. As far as the two leading male actors (Fassbender and Mortensen, who by the way was so good in both Cronenberg "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises"), they were as good as they could possibly be, but in the end they both failed to impress, move, or even raise any sort of emotion beyond boredom. But then again, that's hardly surprising given both the script they were actually given and a clear lack of any direction, which forced them to talk at each other in the most contrived scenes and badly staged, where even the extras in the background seemed fake and moved slowly and gently like… erm…well, extras (particularly noticeable in the scene by the river). Sorry David, not this time for me


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